Kathi Wolfe

Sleight of Hand

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

You say we must play with the hand we’re dealt,
though there’s nothing but sweat and stale air
between our fingers and thumb. Our aces have
been gone so long, we don’t notice they’re
missing. Our kings and queens stick together
like stale Post-Its. Our deuces no longer
run wild. In the middle of the night,
you scream out from pain in your back –
your fear of an economic crash. I
shudder – dream of kissing an old
flame – then drowning in a fire-lit lake.
We worry that the pandemic’s
stacked the deck. Still, we play on,
empty-handed, from our house of cards.

Readers are also encouraged to read more poetry by Kathi Wolfe, published in the Reading Loop in this issue of Wordgathering.

Back to Top of Page | Back to Poetry | Back to Volume 17, Issue 1 – Summer 2023

About the Author

Kathi Wolfe is a poet and writer. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The New York Times, Wordgathering, Rogue Agent, and other publications. She is a contributor to the anthologies QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology and Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability. Her most recent poetry collection is Love and Kumquats (BrickHouse Books). Wolfe is a contributor with the Washington Blade (www.washingtonblade.com), the acclaimed LGBTQ+ paper.